"...behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..."-Alma 37:6

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Perfect Week: Wearing a Boot...but not the fashionable kind

Hola familia! Skype details. We finally figured it out. It'll be 11am my time on Christmas day so 12pm your time :) We'll have about 45 minutes. I'm excited to see you all! So this past week was for sure the best week that I've had on my mission so far. It was super busy too but those are the best weeks. So Tuesday: we found out that we were moving apartments :( not fun. so we spent a lot of the day doing that. Wednesday: so every morning we go and play basketball for our morning exercise so that's really fun. This Wednesday our mission president and his wife and two other elders wanted to come play with us and the other two sisters that we lived with too. So we all met at the chapel and started playing. So..OK don't freak out but this is what happened. Sister Harris passed me the ball. I turned around and jumped up to take the shot. I landed on the side of my foot and may or may not have broken my foot :) Don't worry we went to the doctor and they took X-rays and I have a small fracture on the side of my foot. I was on crutches for the first day but now I have a boot and I am walking fine. Also I'm resting when I can..orders from sister winn. I'm icing it and elevating it and it's healing fine. I have an appointment on Friday so they can check up on it. Sister Winn/Harris/everyone is taking really good care of me too so no worries at all. I'll be walking normal again in 4 weeks. You'll see at Christmas when we Skype that it looks super funny haha. Also I got sooo much food from this accident. So many people came over and brought us stuff so we didn't even have to go shopping this week :) So that was Wednesday.
Rinna in her cast! Thursday we just prepped for our baptism on Saturday. Friday we got a new car!! Brand new :) Mostly the zone leaders and district leaders got the new cars but I think they gave us one too because they felt bad that they made us move :) Ok Saturday was sooo great! Remember the Medez Family that i was telling you about? Well at 12 they got married and the branch did such a good job of setting up everything for the ceremony and the party right after. Lisseth and Luis asked Sister Harris and me to be their witnesses so that was nice. So we did that and then we went over the the building for the baptism right after that. This was the most perfect baptismal service. First off everyone was there on time, never happens. President and sister winn came to our baptism too so we were really excited about that. The program was sooo good. You could definitely feel the spirit at this service. We had one of the youth give the talk on baptism and she did an amazing job. She is 16 and a convert and is getting ready to go on a mission. Then the Elders Quorum Pres gave the talk on the holy ghost and it was super good. Then the baptisms :)) The mom went first, then the dad, then jose luis (11) and then jaffet (17-it was his birthday today) went last. It was perfect. Then Sister Harris and I taught the Doctrine of Christ while they were changing.Then testimonies. My favorite part was the welcomes. For the welcome to the primary we asked the president and Kevin Jara (hes 8 and just got baptized) to give the welcome. The primary president said some stuff but then asked Kevin to share his testimony. Kevin started crying and said that he felt the spirit so strongly when he was baptized. How cute! Then at the end the mom and dad bore their testimonies. For the closing song we had the ym and yw sing. The next day, they all got confirmed :) IT was the perfect week. Love you all and miss you. Hope you have a great week! Sister Adorable
The Medez Family at their wedding and on their baptism day!

Monday, December 10, 2012

2000 Baptisms, Christmas, and Hitting the 6 Month Mark

Hola Familia!! Mom and dad thanks for the great letters this week! This week i got the package from the youth in the ward and a package from the Bluhm family, can i have their address so i can send them a thank you card? THanks for the care package from the ward, the letters were super funny. Tash, how does someone i dont even know write more to me than you did? haha. Annie's letter was really cute, thats exciting that they are back in the ward. Alright to respond to your letter: Favorite scripture is a hard one, maybe 3 nephi 13:5 or Alma 37:37. there are too many good ones and favorites but one of those will work. And yes you can send my letters to whoever wants them :) As for the biking pic, i like that one too. only problem is its on my last companion's camera so i dont have it :(( if you write her a letter and ask for it im sure she could get it to you next week Sister Jenny Bragg 3195 s 300 e #1 SLC UT 84115. Sorry about that. Ok for christmas, im still not really sure whats going to happen/ when were talking to you yet BUT i do know that we found someones house to skype. So ill get to see you but i still dont know how the mission is doing calls on christmas. Ill let you know as soon as i know. Thanks for the shoes, ill for sure use those and throw the others ones away haha. Mom, thats so great that you bore your testimony! Glad that tasha's talk went well. This past week was really great. We are continuing to see miracles everyday. We are looking at having 8 baptisms this month and 7 more in January so things are definitely going well in the area. We have a family of 4 (the Mendez Family) getting baptized on saturday. So the parents are getting married at 11am and then the baptism will be at 5. Its also their oldest sons 17th birthday so thats going to be such a special day for them. We just helped another one of our investigators go and get their marriage license and they want to get married in 2 weeks. That was a miracle because Salvador was completely against it. We are so happy though because then Naomi can finally get baptized! She has been coming to church/ trying to pay her tithing for about 2 years straight. Her son is 8 and so ready to be baptized but wants to do it with his mom. So theyll probably get baptized on dec 29. Oh i forgot, Luis Mendez and his son Jean Pierre (hes 5) they both had their hair super long! Well we stopped by on saturday for a lesson and they both cut it! They look so good. He said, " i told you sisters, there are going to be some changes in my life. first my hair and on saturday baptism" SOOOO amazing!! We are getting close to hitting about 2000 baptisms for this year in this mission. Keep praying for us that we will be able to keep finding those people who are ready to hear and accept the gospel so that we can ultimately reach our goal of 3500 next year :) Sooo today Sister Harris and I printed out our christmas cards so well start sending those out today. If you have anyone that you think i should send them to, please send me their addresses :) I printed like 5 extra just in case you thought of anyone i missed. For our family christmas card, you can just say that i say merry christmas and write whatever else. Im sending you a christmas card today so maybe ill write a little note for the family card on there. Mom, if you could send some stamps for the cards that would be great :) A year from tomorrow i come home, crazy! Well i think that that is everything for now. Have an amazing week!! Love you! Sister Adorable

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Two Angels, Ten Investigators, and One New Address

So this past week has been amazing!! Probably the best half of a week of my mission so far. So first thing, I got transferred into a new area. It was hard to leave all of the people that we were teaching but it was good. I didn't go very far though. I'm serving in the bordering area of my last area in the Salt Lake Zone. I'm serving in a branch (Forest Dale Branch). So on transfer day i thought that i was going to Layton for sure. So at transfers I went and stood in front of the Layton zone sign but i didn't find my name. Well remember how i lived with Sister Harris my first transfer in the field? We weren't companions but we lived together because we lived outside of the area. Well we became super good friends and have wanted to serve together ever since but i was almost positive that that was never going to happen because we were too good of friends. Well guess what, i'm serving with sister Harris!! We were both so stoked and we know that it's going to be a great transfer. We are really excited that we are serving together because we are friends but we also know that Heavenly Father has big things in store for this area and expects a lot out of us in serving together to better the area. But i was soo excited! Anyway so a little bit about the branch that we are serving in. It's really small BUT member support is amazing!! Everyone in that ward truly understands their role and responsibility in contributing to the work. They are such amazing fellowshippers too! We have seen so many miracles this week but I'll just share two: The Mendez Family- This family is really special. They moved here from Vegas because someone had promised them a house and a job and a ton of good stuff here in salt lake but they were tricked into coming here and didn't get any of that. The dad is Luis , the mom is Lizeth and they have 4 kids (jaffet, jose luis, jean pierre, and a little girl but i cant remember her name). Luis has such strong faith in Jesus Christ. He is an amazing example. He isn't working right now but is looking for a job where he doesn't have to work on Sundays so it's taking a little more effort to find on. Lizeth is working at rancho market and works everyday but tuesday and works during church so she hasn't been able to make it to a sacrament meeting. (oh we also have sacrament meeting last). Well this past week, we had a lesson with jaffet (16) in the young men presidents house, jorge (he's like 22 so he's really close to the youth). It was such a good lesson and he asked really good questions so we invited him to be baptized on dec 16 and he said yeah. Then we invited his dad and younger brother to be baptized the same day and they both said yes because they want the entire family to be baptized on the same day. Lizeth cant yet because of her job but well keep working with her too. So we saw them at church yesterday and jaffet even came in a shirt and tie. After church we were going to go over to visit them to confirm that we can go to temple square with them on tuesday. well we thought that lizeth was going to be at work so we were just going to drop by really quickly since we couldn't go in. Well right as we get there Lizeth drives in, she had a break from work. So we go in and chat with Luis and Lizeth. Then Luis told us how he had been offended by someone at church. SO we went on and on and we thought that we were losing them for sure BUT after he got everything out that he needed to he said "Dont worry, I made a promise with God that i was going to come closer to him on dec 16 and i am going to keep that promise. I go to church to come closer to God so I'm going to keep doing that and my family too". Then he started to cry, he was bawling and then he looked at us and said," I don't see you two as women..I see you as the two angels that God has sent into my life. When i talk to you, I talk to God". It was a really special and humbling experience. I love this family and I'm so excited for the progress that they are making and that even though they are going through a rough time that they know to put our Heavenly Father first. Monica-So Monica is a single mom. Her kids are all members but she has not taken that step yet. She has been investigating for a really long time. It's really hard to get ahold of her too. SO last night Jorge and Kenia (the YM and YW presdient who are married, so cute) they went over to monica's house to hang out with her kids and wait for monica to get home. We went over after our lesson so around 8. We had an amazing lesson with her and then invited her to pray with us about baptism. She said she was afraid to so we read 2 nephi 32: 8. THen her extended family rang the doorbell. We were so bummed but then they came in and went downstairs. So we kept going. After she read that scripture she said "wow, find me another one". So we shared Dyc 121 with her verses 1-3 and then 7-9. She started crying so hard she could barely talk. THen she said she knew that she needed to be baptized. So she prayed. We invited her for the 23 and she said " no, can it be sooner?" so right now we are working for this weekend! it was such a cool experience. Another amazing thing that happened this week is that we got 10 investigators to church!! That was amazing! Thats pretty much my week, I hope that you are all doing well. I love you!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jehovah's Witnesses, the Flu, and Thanksgiving Plans

Hola Familia! Mom, thanks so much for the package that you sent me!! That was way more than i was expecting, thanks so much. I LOVE those boots that you sent me they are so cute and theyll be put to good use. Those came right on time because I just found out that i wore my black flats out. I love the bracelet, its so cute! I saw Amanda's at conference and was happy to get that. I have already put all of the other stuff to use so thanks so much for sending all of that too. My companion and i were talking about how we missed shopping this week because everyone we are teaching is making plans for black friday haha so that was nice to get a early chirstmas present :) I was so excited to hear all about the missionary service that you are doing in the ward. I know that the missionaries really really appreciate all of your efforts and that everything that you are doing to help them doesnt go unnoticed by the Lord. The blessings our family is receiving are clearly a result of the service that we are giving to the Lord. He really is grateful that you are helping Him to fulfill His work and His glory. I was so excited to hear about Lydia, that is so wonderful. During the week, follow up with her on her BOM reading. If she hasnt read, maybe put aside some time to read with her. If the missionaries are thinking about teaching her the second lesson then maybe you could read Alma 34 with her or Alma 40 is a good one too. Mom, i was so excited to hear that you went and did baptisms for the dead with that recent convert. Helping her to get to the temple is a sure way that she will remain active as she is making the transition between being a recent convert and an active member. I know that she will never forget you for helping her out. Mom, you are the cutest mom ever! I cant wait to get those christmas lights and stockings haha. Ill probably save them for after transfers though because im pretty sure that they are going to transfer me to another area. One of the senior missionaries was talking to president winn because he wanted me to stay in the area and president winn said that that probably wont happen haha. but you never know, so well see what happens next wednesday. Thanks for the contact solution, i actually did need that. And as for Paolo's letter i actually havent gotten it. Its weird how i never seem to get his letters haha. ill keep an eye out for it this week. This past week was kind of slow. It seemed like a lot of people decided "not to be home" when we stopped by so that was a little rough but despite all of that we also had some pretty cool experiences. On Tuesday night we decided to contact a referral that we had received from Sister Varo ( shes the member that sent us to Juana who got baptized). We knocked on the door and she answered (her name's Daime). We expected to just have another doorstep lesson but she said "oh its cold out here, do you want to come in?". I guess one advantage to the winter is that people feel sorry for you so they let you in haha. So we sat down on her couch and the first thing that she told us was "I just want you to know that the Jehovah's Witnesses are visiting me too and i have been listening to them for a while" So we just smiled and said that that was fine but that we had a message that would bring her more peace and happiness and direction in her life and that we wanted to share that with her. She agreed to listen and then we taught her the restoration, invited her to pray to know that the BOM is true and invited her to be baptized. She accepted the baptismal invitation. It was really cool to see the Lord send us to this prepared person and to see her whole countenance change as she learned about the truth. So ive been taking those vitamins that you sent me but on wednesday I think i got the stomach flu or something awful like that. I was kind of dying haha. It was like a super bad stomach ache mixed with back aches mixed with every muscle in my body hurting haha. So that wasnt a fun experience but luckily the Lord blessed me and it only lasted one day. Dont worry Im completely fine now :) Saturday night we had another amazing experience. We were visiting this less active family and then they gave us a referral right across the street. Its a guy from uruguay that we had visited 2 months ago that was super anti but we had heard that he said that he wanted to get baptized. So we knock on his door and he opens and says "oh its you" and i said, "Carlos, i heard you want to get baptized" He said yes that he did and he invited us in ( we were with a senior missionary couple too). So we all came in and had an amazing lesson and invited him to be baptized and he said yes. One problem he is moving back to uruguay on Thursday haha. Hopefully that doesnt actually happen. But one cool thing that he said as we were leaving " I was thinking a lot about you today and i was hoping that you would come by, and you did" IT was such a neat experience. As for this week, they moved our Pday to Thursday since its thanksgiving but they gave us an hour to do emails today. Wednesday we have Leadership training. THursday is going to be crazy haha. We have 2 thanksgiving dinners (12-3pm and 3-6pm) and then from 6-9 we will just be visiting less actives, investigators, and recent converts all night. I tried to get bday cards out for amanda and tash but we didnt have time so those are coming but probably a week late, lo siento. I hope that you two have an amazing birthday!! I love and miss you all so much and hope that this week is a good one! Happy Thanksgiving!! Sister Adorable

Thursday, November 15, 2012

October 22: Wedding and Richard G. Scott

So this week was pretty good! I decided that id tell you about our little miracle family this week. We received a referral about 3 weeks ago from one of the less active members. We went by and visited her and she didnt seem that interested and she was very quiet. She lives in a trailer home that is covered with branches and leaves so it was kind of difficult to figure out how to get in the first time we passed by but we got in. So we have been teaching her for about 3 weeks now. We committed her to baptized the first lesson we had with her and she accepted. She will be baptized on nov 3. we went to temple square with her entire family and they loved it. Juana came to church and then when it was over she asked if she was allowed to bring her whole family next week. Love her! We taught her the word of wisdom and she just handed us all of her coffee and said she was done drinking it. The next day we brought her hot chocolate :) She has 2 beautiful kids and is due in march with another one. Her husband is becoming more responsive. yesterday juana came to stake conference and loved it! Then we went over to their house and talked about the family proclamation and the importance of marriage so today we are going to the marriage office with them to get their license and theyll probably get married on saturday. we already have the entire relief society on top of planning that wedding :) Anyway they are our little miracle family that i love so much! Another cool thing that happened yesterday: so by looking at the pictures that i sent you, you probably saw that i got to meet Richard G Scott!! he came to stake conference yesterday and then he held a special meeting afterwards just for the spanish ward. I sang in the stake choir and he turned around to watch us. He told me after that he liked my smile and that he is proud of the work that we are doing. we also had the chance to introduce our investigator to him so that was sweet. I love this mission! My companion is great! Im so glad that ive had the chance to serve in this area for so long :) Hope you are all having an amazing week! I love you! Hermana Adorable

October 9: Conference Weekend!

Hola! So due to Columbus day yesterday we are emailing today :) This week was kind of a stressful week because we were getting ready for conference. This year we could only go to the conference center or be on temple square if we had an investigator with us. we had planned and committed at least 1 investigator for every session but only had one show up. Thanks so much for the tickets that you found for me. We took one of the recent converts in our ward with us and she was so excited to have that opportunity to sit so close to the prophet. We spent most of this past week just trying to get investigators to come to conference with us or at least watch it at home. Conference is usually one of my favorite times of the year and although it was stressful, it was a great experience to get to attend conference with one of our investigators. Cris Martinez and his member wife came with us on Sunday morning. We stopped by early around 8 to make sure that they were good to go. Cris had been in an accident about a month ago where he broke his pelvis and right arm. He uses a crutch to walk right now. so we stopped by on sunday morning and he looked like he was in more pain than usual so we asked him if he was still ok to go with us. He said that he was good and that he was excited to go. So we all piled into his car and he drove to the conference center. He was doing a great job walking and i know that heavenly father was helping him to have the strength that he needed to be able to make it to conference. Our tickets were in different places so we left Cris and his wife in their seats and made our way to our seats. It was amazing to me how heavenly father answered our prayers through the speakers at conference. walter Gonzalez's talk was exactly what we needed for cris. i loved the part when he said that we all need to come unto christ, repent and be baptized NOW. After conference we met back up with maria and cris and walked them to their car. cris was in a lot of pain so we didnt want to hold them up too much longer so we said we would stop by the next day to see how they were both doing and to pray with cris for a baptismal date. So that was good. Other things: It is freezing already! its perfect during the day but nights are pretty rough but we're doing great. Going to the conference center made me feel like i was back at byu for a while, i saw way too many people i knew haha.
It was super good to get to see amanda! Seems like she is doing well and that she is enjoying her time at byu. Crazy how she can go on a mission now right?? Im excited for her, i think its good that they changed the age for sisters to go on missions too. This week is the last week of the transfer so we are going to work as hard as we can to try and find those who are ready to accept the gospel and be baptized. We were trying to teach a couple, Angelica and Alex, but they have been really difficult to contact. We just found out that they are already members but their 13 yr old daughter still isnt baptized so we will be working with the relief society president, who is their next door neighbor, and see if we can help their daughter get baptized. We are also going to keep working with cris and help him to be able to pray to know when he needs to get baptized. Right now we have one person on date to be baptized on nov 3. Her name is juana and she is super solid. She loves reading the book of mormon and everything about the doctrine of christ and baptism makes so much sense to her. She committed to come to church with us on sunday and is committed to prepare for her baptism. She is also the most patient person i have met on the mission so far. She has 2 autistic kids under the age of 6 and they are always running around and climbing on the walls of her trailer home but she is so good with them and still tunes in to all of the lessons. We love her and she is great!

October 1: Riding her Bike with No Handlebars & Hiding in Trees

So this week's is going to be a short one, lo siento. Nothing too eventful happened this week. But can you believe that it's october already?? these months are flying by. And winter is coming haha its already super cold in the mornings and at night when we are biking home. No worries, ive already figured out how i can wear sweatpants under my skirt for winter :) My biking skills have continued to improve this week, my companion can now ride one-handed and i can ride with no hands! it was pretty exciting and you have to do things like that to make the day more entertaining haha. But dont worry we are still being careful and safe :) This week we had a YM in our ward come up to us and tell us that he wanted our help baptizing his friend. we were super excited and said yes that we would help. he said that he wasnt sure if he had already been baptized or not. so the next day i called into the office to check his records, turns out that he was baptized two years ago. So that was good :) On thursday we went by and tried to contact this referral that we had received a few days before. We came over and knocked on his door but no one answered and then after a while we look up and the guy is hiding in his tree haha. so we talked to him and taught him while he stayed up there in his tree. i thought it was pretty funny. The first thing that he said was that he was a sinner so we should leave haha. we taught him a short lesson and well probably go back early this week. On friday was had zone meeting and had a training on "planning to find". our goal is to find not just a new person but a new family everyday. so we went over how to do that and then planned for this upcoming week. Saturday was the relief society broadcast. we couldnt find anyone who was available to come up with us to the conference center so we just stayed in our area and thought we'd watch it at the stake center. so e went to the stake center and no one was there. turns out that they were only broadcasting it at another stake center. so we were on 3300 s and 600 e and we had to bike over to 2280 s and 300 e. I think we set a new record cause we made it over there and into the broadcast in like 13 minutes. The broadcast was super good and helped us a lot for the people we are currently teaching right now. I am really excited for conference this upcoming weekend! We are only allowed to go up to the conference center or be on temple square if we have investigators with us but my companion and i have investigators coming with us for every session so we wll be there all day on saturday and sunday! Im sure there will be a ton of protestors outside this year especially but i am so excited to get up there. our mission president told us in our last meeting that any investigator that comes to conference is promised to get baptized so im excited for these 4 people that we are taking up this weekend :) I hope that everything is going well at home and that you are keeping up in our reading of the Book of Mormon. I love you! Sister Adorable

Septemeber 25: Miracle Baptism and Trek

everythings going great here, its starting to get colder!! bikes when its cold is not fun haha but im doing alright. my biking skills are excellent, i actually prefer bikes because it keeps us in shape. i cant think of anything that i need right now...hmm ohhh do you still have that red skirt that you were going to send but then found at home? orr maybe tash will have some time to make me another one? wearing skirts every single day...i need some more variety haha. well, youll never guess what happened this week. we had a MIRACLE BAPTISM!!! this week was was a little bit crazy but really cool too. Nothing really happened on monday so ill skip that one. Tuesday we just had leadership training where they basically told us how we can step it up because we need to if we are going to reach our goal of 3500 baptisms for the year. so that was good and we learned a lot there. Wednesday we tried to apply the things that we learned in training. so heres where the miracle starts. we were thinking and praying about where we needed to go for the next day in nightly planning. for some reason i really really felt like we needed to go stop by hermana casteneda's house first thing the next day. i kept thinking that was weird because she is the young womens president and her family is super active but i suggested that and my companion agreed. so next day we went over and knocked on hermana casteneda's door and guess who opens the door!!?!! ALEXA! (i dont know if you remember her from my older letters but alexa is her niece and she was supposed to get baptized 2 weeks ago but then she suddenly disappeared and we could not contact her, so we just accepted it and moved on) so we set a return appointment for her for 4pm that day. we came back at 4 and just talked about what happened to her and apparently she had been staying in west valley with her dad for the last two weeks and her phone wasnt working. then we asked her how she felt about being baptized still and she said yes and asked when. then i said how about saturday? and she said ok lets do it. so i called the district leader and he came over and interviewed her and she passed. then i called the bishop and he supported us and said that she could be confirmed there too because the brigham city temple dedication was on sunday. i called the stake and there were no other baptisms so we reserved the font and set up her program and we were good to go. saturday, she was set to get baptized at 2pm. she ended up coming about an hour late but thats pretty typical of baptisms in the hispanic community ive learned so it was a perfect service and so great!
Hermanas Adorable and Bragg with Alexa So things that i learned from this experience is that the lord puts prepared people in our path when we are prepared servants. when we are exactly diligent and exactly obedient and exercise perfect faith/trust in our heavenly father then he is bound to bless us and help us out. I like how everything is in the lord's time. we never wouldve found alexa if we had not received the revelation to do so in our nightly planning session and we wouldnt have received that revelation if we hadnt done eveything that we possibly could to be exactly obedient and diligent that day. So that was our cool little miracle that happened this week.:) Yesterday we went on a trek as a mission for our pday. it was a really fun experience to be able to learn and to grow spiritually with the missionaries we are working with. we went to This is the Place Heritage Park. it was overcast and rained some but other than that it was cool that we got to do that. for the women's pull we were definitely given the steepest possible hill to climb and it was hard but super rewarding when we reached the top. it helped us to appreciate all of the sacrifices that our pioneer ancestors did for us. my favorite part was definitely the pony express that came to the top of the mountain. it was a really special treat for all of the missionaries to receive and read letters from their families there :)
Rinna's district on their mission trek Well thats all for this week, i cant believe october starts next week! ive been out for almost 5 months! time goes by fast. my companion is great, her spanish is getting so much better and i love serving with her. mom just remembered that the only thing that i would love is tickets to a sunday session of general conference. if you could get me those that would be amazing!!!! maybe you could ask president wilding if he has some. ive asked around her but no one has any. i love you so much and hope that you have an amazing week! hermana adorable

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Life as a Trainer and Learning Napali

This past week has been a trial of faith but both my companion and i were able to grow and learn from the experiences that we had. Nothing too exciting happened on Monday so Ill just skip that and go on to Tuesday. Tuesday: Today we had new missionary training. So all of the new missionaries and their trainers had to go. It was a really good meeting and really helped me to see what i needed to do as a trainer to try and help my trainee become the best missionary that she can be. So that meeting took up most of the day but then after that we went out and taught. There has been a little bit of confusion about our dinner schedule because we rotate between our spanish ward and the english wards so we had DOUBLE dinner today. Im grateful that we are being fed but hope that i dont have to re-live that painful experience ever again haha. I was grateful that heavenly father blessed me with a second stomach today. One of the cool experiences that we had today was actually with an english-speaking person. Some of our appointments for the day didnt follow through so we were just going out on the street and talking to everyone and anyone that we saw. Anyway there was a guy sitting under a tree and we were just going to say hello and then move on. So we said Hi how are you today? and he responded and said awful. Soo we stopped and talked to him more. He was about 26. He said that he had had an awful day that started with losing his wallet that contained his passport and social security card and everything that you dont want to lose. Then he lost his phone and couldnt call to contact anyone. I think that he had some mental disability because he wasnt quite all there but he said that he had decided that he was going to sit under that tree until 4:44. He vented about his experience for a little bit and then we asked him what he wouldve been doing if he hadnt lost his wallet and he said probably be out drinking. So we started to teach him and introduced the Book of Mormon to him. We invited him to take it and read it but he said no. Then we shared one of the stories from the book of mormon with him and read with him. then he decided that he wanted to take the book and give it to someone he felt needed it. Its so cool that the book of mormon can change people's hearts because it is just full of pure doctrine. I hope that you all can continue reading the book of mormon with me and i know that as you do that your testimonies of our Savior Jesus Christ with be strengthened. Wednesday: So on top of bettering my spanish speaking abilities here on the mission, i am also learning NAPALI! crazy huh? I think i almost run into more napalis here than i do hispanics haha. Anyway so today we were trying to contact a former investigator so we were knocking on a door and then their next door neighbor opened the door. He was from india but understood napali fluently and had just moved here about 15 days ago. so we started to just chat with him and he said oh youre the mormons. we said yeah we are, what do you know about us. Then he just started going into all of the things that his mormon friend in colorado had taught him about this church. So we started to teach him the restoration and then extended the baptismal invitation and he said that yeah he wanted to be baptized about a year ago but his family was against it. He is 21 and loves the gospel so we handed him over to the napali elders so they can continue to work with him. It was a really neat experience where i could really see that missionaries are blessed with the gift of tongues. So i didnt speak a lot of napali but just the little bit that i knew was enough to help him understand our message. Thursday: So i love that we see little miracles every day and that they are completely dependent on our faith. So we are currently teaching this 17 yr old girl, Veronica. She is about 5 months pregnant and is living with her boyfriend. She loves going to church and she loves feeling the spirit every time we are in her house. So we went over and taught her the restoration and then she said that she really wanted to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. So we invited her to pray with us right then and ask heavenly father specifically if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God so she did. Then we invited her to take her book of mormon and open it up to any page so she did. then we invited her to pick any verse on that page so she did and this was really cool. She opened to 3 Nefi 5:1. READ IT and then youll probably react the same way that i did. I promise you heavenly father answers prayers. This was such a cool experience that we had this week. I love the Book of Mormon. Friday was just district meeting and we talked about how we can help our investigators to progress. Saturday: we all received a text message saying that we were not allowed to go to the BYU vs U of U game for any reason at all haha. Didnt even know that was going on that day. Also we only had some minor bike problems today so that was a relief. I think i got a preview of what itll be like on a bike during the winter cause its starting to get really cool in the mornings and at night, hopefully its a mild one again this year. Sunday: We were supposed to have a baptism today but Satan was working really hard on our investigator and we were not able to get ahold of her at all this past week. We called and texted and stopped by but none of that seemed to do anything. Something I learned today: even if we do all that we can to help the people we teach, we can not control their agency. At least if we do everything we can, heavenly father will help us out later on. SO right now everything is going great. I love the area I am serving in. The people are so humble and i am learning a lot from them. Training has been going well too. Its different but i am learning and growing a lot right now. My spanish has improved so i am really grateful for that and sister bragg is getting better every day. I hope you have a good week!! Next week we are doing a trek in This Is the Place Park on our Pday so emails will be on tuesday :) I love you!
Hermana Adorable with her first trainee, Hermana Bragg

Monday, August 13, 2012

Parseltongue and a Wacking Stick

So now for my week (just some highlights): Monday: we had FHE with one of my favorite families in our ward. They have the cutest little kids!! Tuesday: nothing too exciting. did a lot of knocking to find people but not too many people were home Wednesday: WE GOT BIKES! I'm not too sure yet if i should really be excited about that or nervous. Walking takes forever so this should pick things up a bit for the upcoming week for us. So the good news was that we got bikes because a member is letting us use them but the bad news is that we didn't have helmets so we couldn't use them yet. Also my companion's tire is flat so we have to fix that first before we can do anything. Thursday: we were running around all day. literally running. I was so tired when we got home but we were trying to get everything prepared for our baptism on Saturday so that was pretty crazy. Later that night we got to go to temple square with our investigator Elva who was the one getting baptized on Saturday. Friday: haha. So I'm gonna tell you a story but don't freak out. I never imagined myself in a scary movie but if i was ever in one it would probably go a little something like this. (so it wasn't funny then but its really funny now haha): so we went over and taught one of our investigators at like 6 pm so pretty early. anyway her name is Julia and we have been working with her for about 2 weeks now and trying to get her to go to church but she is super catholic. anyway we went over and taught her about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. we invited her to pray specifically to know if the Book of Mormon is true (she had been reading it already) and if Joseph Smith was a prophet of god, and if the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. that specifically and she did, that specifically. then we stayed kneeling on the floor and testified that she was feeling the spirit confirming that everything she had prayed about was true. Then she looked into my companions eyes and said sister would you believe me if i told you i speak in tongues but that i cant understand it? and sister picuasi said yes, you know like the gift of tongues that my companion (me) has because she is learning Spanish. and then she started like shivering but it was super hot in that house and then her body started shaking and she started speaking something that sounded like parsletongue (sp) from Harry Potter haha. anyway we called the elders over right away because that was definitely not the holy ghost haha. so they came over and gave her a blessing and cast out whatever it was that was in that room. The priesthood is super strong. it was an interesting experience that definitely increased everyone's faith in that room. Saturday: ELVA GOT BAPTIZED!!! :))))) Sunday: one funny story really quick-we were walking down a sidewalk and there was another woman with a tiny dog and she was carrying like a stick (painted and decorated...i have no idea why she was carrying a stick...random). anyway we were walking in opposite directions and i wasn't even going to approach her because we were going to another appointment but as we walked past each other she wacked me with her stick on my arm and cussed at me haha. i thought it was really funny and was more surprised it happened then anything haha. So that was my week. I hope everything is going well at home. I love and miss you all!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First transfer (sorta) and New Address

This week was really busy because we had transfers. I didn't get transferred out of the area but I did move apartments. I live in a super nice apartment now that is right next door to the chapel. BUT in exchange for that, they took away our car. No worries the Lord is providing the energy for us to have to walk to our appointments. And its good for me to be walking off all of these tortillas that I've been eating here but I'm happy to say that I've been able to maintain my weight and haven't gained a pound yet. My new address is 3195 S 300 E #16 Salt Lake City, UT 84115. This week we ran into an amazing family from Honduras. They have 4 kids and are awesome! We love them so much! We are teaching them right now and they are receptive so we'll see how this goes. We hope to be able to take them to temple square on Friday. Also they invited us to their 16 year old daughters birthday party the other day and gave us such delicious food and we met one of their friends. He seemed like he was just flirting with us the whole time so we tried to get away from him buuut we realized that more than that, people are attracted to the light that they see in us as missionaries so they are naturally drawn to us. So that was saturday night. On sunday after church (we have church in the morning) we were walking and on our way to some appointment and we saw him walking towards us so we talked to him. He asked us if we were going to church because he wanted to come with is so we were like YUP LETS GO! haha. That rarely happens that we have someone want to come to church with us...that is probably the biggest struggle we have here. So we walked back to church with him (it was around 1:10) and we sat through an english ward (he spoke both english and spanish). Those talks were amazing!I almost thought that they were written just for me and for no one else. He loved sacrament meeting and then after we went in to the gym area for a while so we could talk because it was pretty crazy in the hallway. We taught him right there and invited him to be baptized on August the 18th and he said YES!!!!!! So I'm pretty sure he's going to my first baptism here in this area and I am so happy for him! It's amazing how the Lord works and puts people in your pathway. So that was the most exciting thing that has happened this week. Other than that, I am working harder and putting forth as much effort as I can on my end and then I know the Lord will provide. I love a quote that the Bishop read yesterday that his mission president told him "A good missionary finds a way, the other finds an excuse". I know that there are tons of prepared people here and I am excited to help them find their way.

First Baptism!

Rinna wrote me a letter! Here is a little excerpt of it! "As far as the mission goes, things are going great! There is a lot of work to do in Salt Lake City. Today we went street contacting at the Pioneer Day Parade. Pioneer Day is a huge event...aka the biggest holiday in Utah. So hot but good. Guess who I ran into there?!! Ashley Jordan (Sister Foulger's niece) and Chase Faldmo! He got back like 2 weeks ago. Other than that we git transfer information today (I can't believe it's already been 6 weeks already!). So I'm staying with my companion in our area but we're moving apartments so I still have to pack everything up. So send letters to the mission office. 3487 S 1300 E SLC, UT 84106 I'll send my new address when I get it. So basically we have to pack everything up and then we find out where we're going tomorrow. Other than that guess what?! My first baptism is on August 19 and my second one is on August 20!! So excited! I love you and miss you a lot! Love, Hermana Adorable"
Rinna with Elva Alba (her first baptism)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First General Authority Encounter!!!!

So this week: TRANSFERS! we find out if we are getting transferred on Wednesday so well see what happens. Ill let you know what happens next Monday. I'm also trying to get some pictures printed tomorrow on p-day (they changed it to tomorrow because of pioneer day) so ill send those out soon too. So this past week: Monday-nothing too exciting Tuesday- we went and did a service project for an inactive family. They live in very humble conditions and are not used to living in an orderly manner. Sister Picuasi and the elders in my district and I went over on Tuesday morning and spent about 2 hours cleaning the outside of their house (washing their toys, sweeping, disinfecting, etc..) and it looked great. It felt really good to be able to serve someone in need. we are also getting the relief society and primary presidents involved so they can help her find the desire to come back to church again. Wednesday- we had an amazing lesson with one of our investigators (KEVIN). He is 20 and from Guatemala. He is living with one of the less-active families in the ward. He was covered in tattoos and piercings. we met him while we were knocking doors at one of the apartment complexes. we started talking to him and found out that he has a really strong belief in God and his faith is amazing. So today we invited him to the chapel so that we could have a lesson there. He came completely transformed. He was wearing a shirt and pants and combed his hair and he looked like he had changed a ton spiritually. Anyway we had a lesson there with him in the chapel and then gave him like 2 minutes after the lesson to pray to know if the things that we had taught him were true. He did and he said that he knew everything was true and then he committed to come to church and he wanted to bring his girlfriend too!! So cool! Thursday-We went out with one of the girls in our ward that is thinking about serving a mission. We went and contacted a referral that we had and met an amazing family! we set a return appointment for Saturday. Friday- we had our last district meeting before transfers! we had a testimony meeting at the end. I love my district! Then we had the most amazing dinner from one of the English ward families. Then we finished the night by visiting some families and teaching people on the street. Saturday-Today we felt like we needed to go back and visit someone we had visited 2 weeks ago (EVA LOPEZ). she was not interested at all when we visited her the last time so we didn't really know why we felt like we needed to go there but we did. She invited us in her house which didn't happen the time before and we taught her an amazing lesson. we invited her to church and she said that she did want to go with us. Milagro del Dia for sure. Sunday- soooo Sundays are always the busiest day of the week. You are rushing to get people to church (since we start at 9) and waking them up and calling like crazy. also you have a lot of meetings to go to. but this Sunday was especially hectic because my companion and i had to give a talk at church. super nervous! my first talk in Spanish. anyway we got to church a little late because we were helping a family get ready for church and i had barely planned anything for my talk. so when we walk in the elders are asking us why we were late and they were a little more stressed than usual and we didn't know why. so we went and sat with our investigators and then did our thing. and then they announced that i needed to go and give my talk so i did and then my companion did too so i waited for her on the stand and then when she was done we went and sat back down with our investigators. Then i realized there was a white guy sitting on the stand...its pretty easy to spot them out in the Spanish wards. so i was like oh ok someone from the stake. but then after the meeting was over he got up and spoke and as soon as he opened his mouth i was like ohhh...not someone from the stake haha. well...it was Dallin H Oaks!!!!!! Definitely didn't expect that I'd be giving my first talk of the mission in front of an apostle of God!!!! made my day! So he said that basically that when he doesn't have a stake conference to be at that he prays to know where to go. he said that he felt that he needed to go to a chapel on 33rd South (our chapel) so he hoped there was one there. He also said that he did not know that it was going to be a Spanish ward but that he was happy to be there. So after sacrament meeting we talked to him and he came up to me and said "you're the one from the Philippines, i love the Philippines!" So we chatted about that for a little bit. Then after church we took a picture with him!! Ill send pics soon. So yup that was our week. Hope you are doing well and that everything is going ok at home. I love you all! Hermana Adorable

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week 2 In Granite

Hola Familia! I'm doing well out here. we had a wedding this past week so that was exciting. its sad to see how many people there are here that are living together but arent married. we also had 2 baptisms from our district so that was good too. Last night we went to temple square with one of our investigators larenzo. Hes about 25. he seemed to really like it and understand the things that we taught him. we watched God's Plan, the new video they have at temple square, and at the end we asked him to committ to baptism again. He said no the first lesson we taught him but this time he said yes! soooo July 21 is the goal :) We were out of gas yesterday so we walked. while we were walking we ran into this guy named Craig. He was sitting under a tree. Huge guy with lots of tatoos. Pretty scary but we are called to talk to EVERYONE. sooo we went and talked to him and it turns out that he was a member. but less active. he'd done a lot of bad things. he said that he found Jesus again two years ago. he said i may not look like it but i am a really sensitive person to the spirit. so we taught him a little bit and tried to motivate him to come to church again. he got up to leave but then we sang I am a child of God and he stayed and said that he really needed to hear that song today. then we said a prayer and he said we were welcome in his apartment anytime. times like that make me really excited on the mission. This past week was kind of uneventful but im hoping that this upcoming week brings more things to come. There are so many things that you learn here on the mission. One of the things ive been working on the most is developing charity. you need to learn to truely love everyone here on the mission. if you dont, you cant be guided by the spirit and you cant teach as effectively. its not easy but it is definitely worth it. This week i want to to challenge each of you to think of three people in your life that you have a hard time getting along with. pray every night for that person and pray for the lord to help you to gain charity for this person. will you all do that? as a diciple of Jesus Christ and as one of his representatives I promise you that you will feel the spirit more strongly and that you will be guided to know what to do. I also promise that the lord will help you to develop charity. pray for trial because they help you to grow and become the person that the lord knows you can be. most importantly, pray that you can allow the lord to mold you because he will and he will help you become a better person than you could have become on your own. I hope you are seeking to serve others in Texas just as much as i am here. the missions great, im learning a lot, im helping a lot of people, and the lord is guiding me and protecting me as i am doing His work. Love you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Working in Granite

So i've officially been out in the field for two weeks now and have learned soo much. I absolutely love my trainer she is so great and such a hard worker. We've seen so many miracles and met a lot of interesting people. To anyone who thought there wasnt a lot of work to do in Salt Lake, well youre wrong. I had no idea how much work there was to do but im excited to be working out here. So right now im living in Rose Park (out of my area) and working in Granite. They whitewashed the area so we were basically starting from zero. The first week we were here we just worked a lot to try to get to know all of the leadership..such a good idea because they already know the area and people so that was great! also we worked a lot off of referrals. As of right now we have 6 people on date to be baptized and we are teaching around 13 people. So miracles of the last two weeks: 1. Mariana- so mariana is in her 30s and she has 4 kids (armando 12, ernesto 10, ana 9, cindy 7) and she is going to get married to her 'husband' soon. she was a referral. we stopped by at her house and she didnt seem very interested but she we could tell right off the bat that she needed something. so we started teaching her and her kids were running around like crazy everywhere and her husband marcus always left everytime we came over. so that was the first lesson. Then we kept coming back. as the lessons kept going, the kids started to calm down. they would sit in on the lessons and participate. some of the kids' friends would come over and tell them to come out and play but they would say no we're listening to the sisters and you should too. so things were going well so my companion and i decided that it was time to take them to temple square (requirement for baptism in my mission). so we took them there and they loved it and the loved the idea of eternal families. so we invited them to church. they said yes. then we went over on saturday to remind them about church the next day. cindy opened the door and marcus with there. we asked if mariana was home and they said she was showering so she couldnt come out. so we stood outside and asked them about church again. cindy said that mariana told her that they werent going to church and then they shut the door. sooo sad and confused. so my companion and i stood outside and said a prayer cause we didnt know what to do. then we started to walk down the stairs and mariana comes running out and wants to talk to us. so we talked and she told us her concerns. she said that marcus had told her some things about mormons (anti mormon stuff) and she wanted to know if it was true. so we came inside, had our first lesson with marcus and the family, and then reminded them about church the next day. welll they didnt show up to church (happens a lot) buut it was breakthrough to have a lesson with marcus. we stopped by marianas yesterday and asked her what happened and why they didnt go to church and well she said she knows that she needs to pray (because she hasnt done that yet) and that marcus wants to know more!! sooo that was a miracle...well keep working with them 2. cool story. had the chance to go to a baptism of one of my companion's investigators from her old area. he was around 25. his girlfriend was a recent convert of 2 years. so he gets baptized. she says the closing prayer. he gets up and bares his testimony. calls his girlfriend up. says some stuff. gets down on one knee, pulls out a ring and tah dah baptism proposal. BEST DAY EVER! 3. so my companion and i were knocking doors at this apartment complex and NO ONE answered but we knew they were home (also happens a lot haha) but then all of a sudden we heard some hispanic music playing downstairs so my companion and i got so excited. we ran down the stairs and found this cute catholic family (mom dad 2 kids ). so we started teaching them outside the door but then they thankfully let us come in after about 10 minutes. so we were telling them about the restoration and then they were like oh well we're catholic. and my companion and i said well we were too. so we told them our family's conversion stories. then they got interested. then we tried to leave them with the book of mormon but the dad said no because if he accepted the book then he accepted our religion and he was catholic. so my companion and i left them with a hymn and a prayer. then my companion told me to run out of their house so i did without knowing why. then i asked her why and she said sister guess what i did. then i realized that she left the book of mormon on their couch haha. then we got to the car and she was looking for our keys but she couldnt find them. then i remembered that the keys were right next to the book of mormon!! so we said a prayer asking for a miracle. the dad comes running out and i was so disappointed thinking he would bring the book of mormon back buuut NO! just the keys. such a cool experience. 4. so we were knocking doors at an apartment complex and we ran into a man on the way to an appointment. so normally i would never have talked to him. honestly he scared me. super buff body builder looking guy with a goatee and tatoos everywhere. buut the spirit prompted us to talk to him so we did. we started teaching and asked for a return appointment and he said NO way. then we sang "i believe in christ" and he changed. He said actually i think you should come by. crazy. i think our biggest let in tactic is singing a hymn. it works! 5. sandiva- so we were knocking doors and we had already been to this apartment complex before. we tried this one door and this lady answered and she had to have been offended by the missionaries or the church or something because she was super cold towards us. anyway so we saw this dad carrying his son into that same apartment so we went back there. we taught about god's love and that we are his children and this man seriously started to cry. then we were going to leave him a book of mormon chapter to read after we left. we sang a hymn and then we were going to leave after a prayer. but after we sang the hymn he started reading the chapter out loud right there while we were standing at the door. so we let him read it and just listened. then we stopped him and asked him how he felt. he told us peace and joy and that this is what he wanted for his family sooo i committed him to be baptized in 3 weeks and he said absolutely and that he wanted us to help him prepare. then we bore testimony and ended with a prayer. AMAZING. the mission is great, I couldnt think of anything better i could be doing at this time of my life. Hope you all are having amazing experiences too.

Off to Granite

So its my first week in real life. I met my trainer Hna Picuasi from Ecuador on wednesday. She is awesome! love her! So on the first day we went out to temple square and had a competition for all of the missionaries that arrived to the salt lake mission (37) at temple square. So we went around and talked to EVERYONE! we ran into some pretty interesting people. Then we looked for our apartment. They told us the wrong one. So we had to go all the way to the other side of the area. Sooo good news and bad news: I live outside of my area so they gave us a car :) but bad news is that it takes forever to get to our area so we waste a lot of time commuting. Im pretty sure that they are going to move us to a new apartment soon (probably this week). Ok so the area im serving in is Granite. They whitewashed the area so we are opening it up...aka starting from zero. Its been fun! Im living in Rose Park right now. we knock on doors/teach from 1-8:50pm. Then we get home around 9:15, plan for 30 mins, pray and crash. then we get up at 6:25 and do it all over again. The first day we pretty much went around and tried to meet the leadership and get to know them a little bit. Then we knocked doors. So far ive met a ton of people in salt lake that dont know anything about the gospel. We ran into a girl who was baptised when she was eight but then left the church because she was gay. So we're working with her. We also ran into an ex-bishop who doesn't believe in God anymore. This past week we found 7 new investigators. One guys name is Fernando. He's about 40ish. His girlfriend is LDS. He is a great guy and super solid, just has a ton of hard questions. Hes super analytical and claims that if this is the true church then it should have all of the answers. He's progressing well. We found another great family (mariana and ana) she is an amazing mom and we have seen so many changes in their family. the kids used to be super hyper and crazy and not respect their mom at all but now they all fight over who is going to say the prayers. we are taking them to temple square on friday. Also Fernando, Mariana and Ana are all put on date for a baptism the first and second week of july. next week we are hoping to put 4 or 5 more people on date at least. yesterday night we went and found another family that had never had the missionaries over before. We are going over tonight to have an FHE with them. they have like 7 kids that are under 9. Everything is going great and things are fun. Im in the real world! This is what its about. I love the mission. The church is true. The book of mormon is awesome!! it truely converts people. Give the missionaries references!! they need them. If you ever see a missionary say hi, it will brighten up their day :) love you all :)))

Entering the Field

So normally when people leave the mtc they are allowed to call their family in the airport for cinco minutos so i asked about that for tomorrow since i dont go to the airport and unfortunately i dont get that priviledge. lo siento. but i was allowed to email you today to let you know that i leave the mtc manana. I will email you on my pday with me new address in salt lake. I got the elder's letters yesterday..thanks for that. Also thats awesome that sister read sent me a letter. i have no idea how she got my address but she was the sister missionary that was teaching me at the mtc when i got my answer that i needed to go on a mission. love the way the lord works! anyway im sooooooooo beyond excited to get out into the field. I ready to teach and find and serve and bring people closer to christ. Love this gospel. Its verdad. Love the work. Missionary work is the best thing you could do. (also any time you have the missionaries over for dinner, be sure to give them some references of people to teach...help the work :) ) Love you all.

Week 3 at the MTC

P-day was today (saturday) this week because we had in field training all day yesterday...13 hours... yeah it was long. I head out on wednesday morning at 6am. Hopefully i survive the long journey there haha So this past week...not very eventful just teaching and preping to head out. Hermana Bram and I taught the best lesson we've taught at the MTC. Our teacher even started crying, he said it was good and the spirit was super strong. Also i got a blessing from my branch president this week and it was seriously like a second patriarical blessing. He typed it up and gave it to me so i could look over it over and over again. He is soooo great, everything that comes out of his mouth is amazing. i bet he's one of the three nephites. amazing! We did a lot of role playing in class this week and something interesting that one of my teachers said was that of all the churches out there there is by far more antimormon stuff out there then anti-any-other church and thats totally because satan knows that this is the true church. he doesnt even waste his time with the other churches cause he knows that they arent true. That was something cool that i realized this week and thought id share with you. cool, huh? also i dont think ill ever read the scriptures in english again haha, they are so much prettier in espanol :) this week im really loving Alma 18..ammon=power missionary!! also eter 12 loove, and lastly 2 nefi 2...such a great chapter. Oh tash/man, just a warning i was showing my district pics of my familia and you may or may not be receiving some letters haha...just a heads up. Thanks for all of the letters i got this week. sorry that sometimes i dont have enough time to respond to them all because i only can write on pdays. dont worry paolo you have one coming your way this week. i put a disney stamp on it just for you. dad, dearelder still works on my mission but its not free once im out in the field. ill have to pay every time to receive it so id rather get hand-written letters so i dont have to pay for them. glad you had fun with the missionaries. mom as far as the backpack things goes i dont really know whats going on so ill ask my mission president when i meet him on wednesday. I cant believe my time here is almost over. But im really excited to get out into the field. One, im super sick of the food haha so im looking forward to real food later on. also all i ever want to do is teach so im really excited to get to go out and find and teach real people. well i think thats about all for now. im doing laundry now and then ill head to the temple later this afternoon. Hope everything is going well, i love you all and miss you! Hermana Adorable SIDE ANECDOTE: Rinna was having issues with elders flirting with her at the MTC. One elder was particularly flirty so Rinna told him, "Hey Elder I bet Heavenly Father is so proud of you for staying so focused on your mission." That elder simply walked away. Oh snap! Way to put him in his place Rinna! :)

Week 2 at the MTC

Hey everyone! So Sundays are the best here at the MTC. Since im the coordinating sister i had a lot of meetings that i had to go to but when i wasnt in a meeting it was really nice to just enjoy the day. We had a modesty fireside (again) and then they mentioned something about sister missionaries not being allowed to carry backpacks anymore? i dont know, that was the first id heard about that. im just going to wait til i get to salt lake and talk to my mission president about that. Soooo in one of my meetings on Sunday i met this Australian sister who is going where? MANILA!! sooo i got her email and told her id give her a list of references when she gets there (aka our familia) soo mom if you could get a list together of addresses and telephone numbers of auntie paula, uncle paul, uncle bits, your friends from high school, college, their friends, etc... basically as many people as you can write down, ill email it to her and she will get to work :)) we also got to go on a temple walk for an hour, even though its just across the street, its so nice to get out of the MTC every once in a while. Monday, Hermana Aguilar left...so sad. I taught my first TRC lesson, it went pretty well. Im pretty used to teaching now so i dont really get nervous anymore. I got sick on Monday night... learning that the MTC food isnt all that healthy for you. Ive learned to avoid the chicken and the orange juice and everything else is ok. Tuesday, I had to say goodbye to Hermana Morales, my roommate. She was like my mom here so that was really really hard for me. I cried a lot. i have no idea how im going to deal with transfers. I get wayy too attached to the people that im serving with already. We had a devotional that night by Elder Zwick and his wife from the seventy. it was on the book of mormon and it was amazing!! Also got 5 letters that day so taht was well-timed. I needed that little pick me up. Wednesday, Hermana Collazos and Rojas left today. Although im excited, saying goodbye to 4 sisters in a row this week has been tough. Wednesday was hard because i could really feel satan working on me. President Tyler, my branch president gave us a little devotional about feeling the spirit and that really helped. He said that even when you are under the influence of satan that if you feel the strong desire to do good that you are still in the company of the holy ghost, that made me feel way better. The next day i got a blessing from our zone leaders and it was probably one of the best blessings ive ever had. The power of the priesthood is amazing! that was the best day id had at the MTC thus far. but back to wednesday, we got 7 new sisters in our zone, the most out of any of the other zones at the MTC. One of the girls is going to Dallas, TX!!!! Three of the new sisters are in my room. Sister Alcantar from mexico is so sweet, i love her already. Sister Nelson is from Utah and has a super sarcastic and strong personality so im having a ton of issues with her but im trying hard to serve her as much as possible so i can learn to love her and lead her. Sister Monjares is really quiet but sweet too and i hope to get to know her better. Today!! I got to go to the temple, finally!! the new missionaries dont get to go the first weekend they are here. It was a great way to start off the day. We had to get up at 5:50 to get there but it was worth it. After we finished the session, i was in the womens dressing room and ran into my friend Brittany Ogletree Clark and her mom!! it was so goooood to see them. After that we ate breakfast in the temple....delicious!!! the cafeteria food here is gross. I got a letter from my mission president who said they had 42 baptisms this past week making it a total of 135 for the month. i thought that was pretty good but he said its the lowest theyve had since theyve been mission presidents so we in the MTC need to study harder and help them pick up the pace. Alsooo i got my travel plans yesterday and i leave the MTC on June 13 at 6am. we drive everyone to the airport and then we drive to our mission haha. So excited! also one of my friends elder hunt got his mission call reassigned and he is heading out to the best state in the US, TEJAS :)) Spanish is coming great, i almost cant remember englsih. my companion is amazing!! im learning so much from her . Her dad was the mission president in colombia and is now the first counselor in the mission presidency in panama. She got to go to the salt lake temple today cause she is international. She keeps mentioning that she really wants a skirt like i have and they sell some here so i think im gonna get her one soon :) I LOVE HER. she is such a good example and inspiration for me. I wish i had more time but we only get 30 minutes. I love yall. This church is true. the gospel is amazing. the book of mormon is absolutely 100% true and inspired. Every single word in that book is powerful. Bearing your testimony and developing it has been the most useful thing for me as i have been teaching and that with the spirit can be one of the most powerful tools we have as missionaries. I love yall and will talk to you next week. thus far ive had about 250 comments about my last name haha. i think im gonna stop counting now. LOVE YOU!! :))

Off to the MTC

Rinna flew to Utah on May 22nd and reported to the MTC on May 23rd. Because Rinna did well during her Spanish evaluation interview, she only stayed there for three weeks! Yay! She is so excited to teach and share the gospel with others! Im not going to lie the first day at the MTC was super rough. I had no idea what i was doing and everything was so new to me. Ive heard people say that the MTC is a different world and I never really understood that until i got here. After mom dropped me off they started pilling things in my arms and pointing out different buildings that looked exactly the same. That was a bit overwhelming but then after, we went into a big room and all of the new missionaries that had arrived that day were there. We sang some hymns and they gave us a miniorientation. After we went straight into workshops and started teaching right then! Definitely wasnt expecting to be teaching so soon but its a good learning experience. My companera (companion) never showed up so they labeled me as a "Solo" sister meaning that i have to go around with two elders from my district or find another sister. Thursday we got up and went to breakfast and then went to a workshop. Then we had personal study and then additional study time for an hour. I love that i get at least 2 or 3 hours to just read the scriptures and study.Then i went to the gym with my companeras de cuarto (roommates) Hermana Aguilar and Hermana Schoemaker. My other two roommates are Hermana Collazos from spain and Hermana Morales from Mexico. They are so nice and welcoming. I will miss them a lot when they head out next week. Later that night the zone leaders came in and met with us. They are pretty cool and they just oriented us a little bit more about what to expect while we are here. Also we got our new district leader, Elder Stone. All of the guys in my district are like family to me. Im the only girl but they watch out for me. Also tonight i was called as Coordinating Sisiter. Still not exactly sure what that will mean for me but i hear im going to be very busy and that i welcome the new sisters that come in every wednesday. Friday, we got up and had breakfast and then headed to class in our classrooms. Also forgot to mention that classes last for 3 hours. That was definitely hard to get used to and my night classes are even harder to get through since its late at night but i love my teachers Brother Miller and Brother Lee. They both served in Colombia and are very helpful. We learned about the parallels of the Doctrine of Christ with our missionary purpose. After that we had lunch. After that i went to the gym with a girl that was in my ward at BYU, shes going to California speaking spanish but she is here for 9 weeks. After taht we went to class for additional study and then we went to dinner. Dinner is super early here. We eat at 4:15 but somehow im never really hungry after that. After that we went to class and i taught my first investigator. That was so fun and made me so excited to go out and teach! Halfway through class, the computer started singing called to serve and there was a message that i needed to call the front desk, so i did. Annnd mi companera habia llegado!!!!! my companion came! Her name is Hermana Bram and she is from Panama which means my spanish should improve tremendously. Her visa came late so thats why she was late to the MTC. She is so cute and i am excited to be serving with her. Today, well normally my Pday would be on a Friday but its different this week. I only get a half Pday today and then class for three hours and then dinner and then class for another 3 hours. I dont think ive ever studied this hard ever in my entire life but its good and i love it! I also have never been more exhausted in my entire life, trek included! This is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting but its worth it! One good thing that my roommate told me that was encouraging was that outside of the MTC satan has all sorts of ways to distract and get to you (TV, movies, boy and girls, friends, etc....) but in the MTC he only has your thoughts and your dreams. So any time we get down on ourselves or compare ourselves to other, we just need to kick that though away. A lot of the sisters have had crazy dreams while theyve been here and i just had one the other night so its definitely true that satan is targeting us but the good news is that he's never gonna win. The gospels true. I love this work! Love you guys! (also sidenote that if you dearelder me while im at the MTC then they print out the letters everyday for free and i can get your letters faster. :) ) Hope everything is going well.

Opening the Mission Call

Here is Rinna opening her mission call! http://vimeo.com/45001221

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rinna's Farewell

So Rinna's farewell was quite an emotional day for our family! As a surprise Amanda, Natasha, and Paolo sang "Today is the Day". It is a song that talks about how it is important to share the gospel today. This was the first time that Paolo sang in a sacrament meeting so we were all particularly touched by the spirit. Rinna gave a beautiful talk on being a covenant people and then shared the story about how she made the decision to serve a mission. For those of you who don't know I will share it. A couple of months before her mission, Rinna wasn't sure if serving a mission was what she should do. She was doing well in school and enjoyed hanging out with her friends, so serving a mission was not a priority. She volunteered at the MTC each Saturday, acting as an investigator for Spanish speaking missionaries. On one particular Saturday, Rinna was not feeling well at all. Her stomach hurt, and she considered going home instead of volunteering. However, Rinna decided to go anyway because she didn't really need to be actively engaged in the conversation while the elders practiced. When Rinna entered the room, she was surprised to be paired up with sister missionaries. Although it was the same lesson that she had heard for several weeks in a row, Rinna says that this lesson was completely different. She felt the presence of the spirit very strongly and she heard the question "Why aren't you serving a mission?" in her head. She silently plead with the Lord to tell her if she was supposed to serve a mission and she was immediately answered in the affirmative. Rinna says that this was the most immediate and also the most clear answer she had ever received from a prayer. She began to cry and she asked the sisters why they decided to serve missions. After answering her question, Rinna talked to them for a long time. When Rinna left, she knew what she had to do. She submitted her papers within the month and received her call a few months later. We couldn't be more proud of Rinna and her decision to serve the Lord. She is loving the mission field and encourages everyone to consider doing the same. She says it is one of the best decisions she has ever made.